South Florida’s mourning the loss of yet another familiar face.

Nick Coleman, 32, passed away after a brief but tough illness. And while COVID-19 didn’t cause his death, it is to blame.

“It was about two days of symptoms that he thought was COVID,” his friend, Gary Hill, said. “He thought he would get through it. But the coroner said it was bacterial meningitis.”

Many people, including medical professionals, assume any minor cold or respiratory issue is COVID-19, and don’t run a test since there’s no treatment for mild cases.

Coleman moved to South Florida in 2015 after growing up in Missouri. He was a server at several restaurants in and around Wilton Manors, and quickly endeared himself to the community.

The news of his death was sudden and shocking, and his mother, Angelique Overstreet, urges everyone to cherish those close to them.

“People have been reaching out and that is so much appreciated. Friends, family and kindness have come in so many different forms. I feel so blessed and so sad at the same time. Hold those you love oh so close. Make the memories that'll last for a lifetime. And always be right here right now.”

Hill remembers his friend as someone who stood out for all the right reasons.

“Very outgoing, loving, caring.”

Because he had friends and family in so many places, several Celebrations of Life are being held, including one that took place in Lauderdale By the Sea last week.

Coleman was considered the life of the party anywhere he went, and gathered a “chosen family” everywhere he went, from Springfield, Kansas City, to Fort Lauderdale. Hundreds of people have posted pictures and memories recalling the times they spent with him.

A GoFundMe was set up to help with final expenses, and has raised more than $10,000.


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